Charges Dropped Against British Duo in Scandinavian Garlic-Smuggling Case

A Swedish district court has cleared two Brits of aggravated customs offences related to a garlic-smuggling ring they led

Wikimedia Commons / Jennifer Dickert / CC BY 2.0

The thieves apparently were not put off by garlic's pungent smell.

Two Brits were not the garlic-smuggling crooks Swedish prosecutors depicted them as.

The Uddevalla district court in western Sweden dismissed charges against the duo levied by Swedish prosecutors, and even awarded them compensation. According to the prosecution, the two Brits transported garlic illegally from Norway to Sweden 59 times without notifying Swedish customs.

The Swedish must be very wary of Stinky French Garlic to cause such a ruckus over a product as innocuous as garlic. However, as those behind the Canadian maple syrup heist can attest, stealing normal foods can still net thieves a pretty penny.

By not reporting the shipments of garlic — totaling 1418 tons — to Swedish authorities, the duo avoided paying 2.6 million euros of European Union import duties (Norway, where the garlic was coming from, is not a member of the EU.)


However, upon reviewing the evidence, the court dismissed the prosecution’s case. According to the judges, the state could not prove that the perpetrators smuggled garlic across the Swedish-Norwegian border without paying customs more than once.